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A man playing a flute, drawing by Jean-Antoine Watteau, c.1706-1716
 
Musical references occur in over one third of Watteau’s paintings and drawings. Often, these appear as observations of particular musical instruments and their players, reflecting Watteau’s deep understanding of the music of his time. The transverse flute depicted here was an instrument that was developed extensively at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and which was especially popular in France. 
 
Watteau characteristically made use of this figure in more than one of his paintings. With the addition of a hat it appears in his Concert champêtre, dated variously from 1707 to about 1716 (Angers, Musée des Beaux-Arts), and, bare headed, in another treatment of the same subject known from an etching by Benoit Audran.